Editorial September 2017

The end of September starts the final quarter of the year. It is a time when many manufacturers strain to get the remainder of this year’s planned issues into production in China, and shipped in time to sell before the end of the year. This is also the time of year when MAR Online’s web hosting has to be paid. Many thanks to those who have donated this year already, but more donations would be welcome, to help close the gap between what has been donated and the cost of hosting this website.

The growth in 1:18 scale model production so far this year has been amazing. And not all of these models are expensive promotional items; many actually cost less than most 1:43 scale resin models. In 1:43 scale, we have seen a steady release of new models, though with fewer ‘new entrants’ than in recent years, and a decline in the amount of Chinese ranges selling Rolls–Royces and similar models direct to Western buyers via eBay. The return of Goldvarg with new 1:43 resin models was a welcome event. Partwork castings are being re-issued in several ranges, but they are being offered at double the price of the original partwork model. 1:64 scale has also had an active year, but the US scene seems to be settling down, with AutoWorld now consolidating Johnny Lightning under their banner. M2 and Greenlight are also releasing quite a few models. Here in the UK Oxford Diecast is producing excellent Rolls-Royce models, as well as some excellent 1:76 scale coaches, showing just how good their mainstream diecast models can be.

The increase in prices we experienced from the first quarter of this year onwards appears to have slowed a little, except in the case of Brooklin Models, where there has been an increased level of detail and a re-structuring of product ranges and pricing. This seems to be an attempt to take the product into the aspirational luxury goods market, which has led to very substantial price rises and a lot of adverse comments from collectors. Similar price rises are making the MaxiChamps re-releases of 1970s and 1980s models much more expensive than expected. This may well restrict their sales, when secondhand examples of the original models can be bought more cheaply on eBay and at swapmeets.  The DeAgostini Group of companies have kept prices down over the last year, but looking at the volatility of the pound and dollar I am afraid that price increases in that sector will be inevitable. In the partwork field, it looks as if Atlas may be withdrawing from our sector in the future.

Our contributors have given us insights into a wide range of models this year but we always welcome more new material. Writing for MAR Online is easy: just send us some pictures and your thoughts on a subject; we can turn it into a posting.

Finally, don’t forget our Facebook Page. It is a great place to add information, or to provide corrections to anything we have posted.